CRS Scientist Spotlight on Asia Ingram
Asia Ingram is a first year MS-RSM graduate student in Dr. Julie Kim's lab. Her research focus in the Kim Lab is on developing an in vitro model of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) on a microfluidics platform. Learn more about Asia's cutting edge research, her reflections on the MS-RSM program and the CRS community, and what makes her a renaissance woman.
Name: Asia Ingram
Position: MS-RSM Graduate Student
Mentor: Dr. Julie Kim, PhD
Thesis: Creating the PCOS Ovary In Vitro
What brought you to join the CRS community and what is your current position?
My interests in reproductive medicine started at a young age watching my mother treat women holistically for various gynecological issues. After completing my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering and working as an engineer for some years, I decided it was time to invest in my personal interests and return to research. I am currently in my second semester of the Masters Program and Northwestern was perfect for me because of the interdisciplinary approach to Reproductive Biology.
Could you describe your research?
I currently I work in Julie Kim’s lab and my research focuses on an in vitro model of PCOS in the ovary. This work will also support the in vitro model of the 28 day ovulation and menstrual cycle in the PCOS ovary, in the novel microfluidics device which is particularly exciting because of my Biomedical Engineering background.
What aspect(s) of CRS do you find most valuable?
I appreciate the expansive network of scientists all over the country that the faculty and staff collaborate with on their research. Honestly, if you wanted to work anywhere in terms of Reproductive Medicine, Northwestern probably is the best place to start. I look forward to contributing to the vast knowledge this program has to offer.
What has been the most valuable aspect to your training as a reproductive scientist?
Because of my engineering background, for me the most valuable aspect has been learning the skills to collect and analyze biological data for reproductive sciences. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning how to collect follicles and oocytes and understanding the benchtop methods necessary for reproductive biology. This was the area I felt was important for me to learn prior to starting my masters degree.
What is one piece of advice you would give to young scientists starting in their journey in science?
There is no GPA, or degree that can stop an inquisitive mind. The most important aspect is not the answer but the question, so never stop questioning and never give up! Most importantly, DON’T BE AGREEABLE!
What do you think will be the next big contribution in the reproductive biology field?
I think the next big contribution in reproductive science will be in regards to a decreasing maternal mortality rate for Black Women and bridging the trust between at risk- communities and medical institutions. Understanding the mechanisms behind pregnancy complications that lead to fatal incidences and providing an intervention that can save mothers and provide comfort to expecting mothers.
What hobbies do you have outside of the lab?
I would definitely describe myself as a renaissance woman. I enjoy taking ballet classes, pilates and yoga for movement. I also enjoy drawing, painting, recording music and writing poetry. Lastly, traveling pre-COVID would have also been on the top of my list of activities.